Monday, December 21, 2009

Cool and casual for a hot hot day

Remember this bright bright white top? Almost needed your sunnies just to look at it?

And do you remember me saying I thought I had way too many white tops and it was time for a dye-job?
So, I do from time to time use dyes bought in the chemist, or at a craft shop.  But for preference I will use a natural dye, or something I already have to hand about the house.  I wanted to make this top a sort of blotchy blue/brown colour, so hunted about for possible candidates to produce this sort of effect.  I made last year a jacket for myself out of navy blue hessian silk, which has been a marvellous jacket, but runs like mad when it is washed.  And I mean, like when it is dipped in the tub the water goes like ink.  Luckily, being silk, I was handwashing from the word go... 
Anyway, time to put this to good use.  I also grabbed a half bottle of instant coffee that had been languishing in the pantry for months (now my husband has his coffee machine it's nothing but the best around this place, although some of my friends fortunately prefer instant so I always keep a jar handy)

Did the coffee soaking first (24 hrs),
followed by the jacket washings soak (another 24 hrs),
and voila, I'm very happy with my "new" top.  It didn't really end up with the hoped for blue/brown splodges, but is more of an aquamarine/sepia all-over washed effect, and actually goes beautifully with the nacre buttons that I had already used on the shirt.

Other details:
Top; Butterick 4985, self striped white cotton, dyed over
Skirt; Diesel, bought in Rome
Scarf; Country Road
Hat; LLBean
Thongs (flipflops); Mountain Designs


  1. I noticed items you had dyed in your posts before. Nice to see how it can be done without official products. I should try that some day. That said however, I would have expected a darker/brighter result. Do you think that's down to the fibres of the top's fabric?

  2. Fabric is cotton, which should take dye well. However as I'm only using colour "borrowed" from other substances rather than the pure pigment of commercial dyes the end result is more of a "wash" than a dye. It was just an experiment and (being a scientist) I like playing around with this sort of thing!